Kelli Jacobi

Rhinelander School District Moves Forward with Referendum

Oct 20, 2015
Rhinelander School District

  The School District of Rhinelander voted in favor of a three year referendum at last night’s school board meeting.  The referendum came on the heels of the statewide budget cut made to the educational system this year. Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the declining student enrollment, inflation and increased poverty rates in the district are large contributing factors.

Opponents of a measure to change teacher licensing requirements are still skeptical of new language that could limit its impact.  


Irma Republican Mary Czaja says she’ll redraft her proposal that allows prospective teachers to get licensed without a bachelor’s degree.  She told reporters those candidates could only be part-time teachers, and that the license would be specific to a single school.  


Open enrollment begins next week for public schools in Wisconsin, meaning students can apply to go to school in a district other than the one they live within. 

Districts hope for higher enrollment, which brings more state dollars. 

Rhinelander Schools typically see more kids enroll out than come into the district.

But Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district does significant outreach about what enrollment can offer.

The School District of Rhinelander is bringing in an expert from the state Department of Justice to talk with students and parents about internet crimes and safety.

The district has been dealing with a recent investigation of students sharing explicit photos via social media and on cell phones.

As a result of the school’s investigation about ten students were briefly suspended, but Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says it became clear that the problem was broader and more systemic than just a few students.  

Basheer Tome

Most public schools are meeting or going beyond state expectations in the Northwoods.

School report cards released each September look at how students are doing in reading and math, attendance and graduation rates.  There are also categories that measure student improvement, and how schools are closing performance gaps between demographics. 

In Crandon, District Administrator Jim Asher says schools did better than state averages in student growth and closing the gap categories...and but still need work on some academic indicators.    

Basheer Tome

The School District of Rhinelander is looking for input on a new strategic plan.

It will help set goals and priorities for the next few years. 

Superintendent Kelli Jacobi is inviting the public to a series of meetings Wednesday and Thursday…to offer feedback and suggestions.

Local School Leader Favors Scheduling Flexibility

Mar 11, 2014
Rhinelander School District

  The Wisconsin Senate is voting on a bill  tossing out the 180 day requirement for schools to hold classes.   Classes would still have to be held for certain numbers of hours -- but schools could hold longer days to get those hours in.  The issue came to the forefront in January, when most Wisconsin schools were closed for at least four days due to the coldest winter in two decades.

Christopher Sessums

Open enrollment begins this week.  Wisconsin families have the option of enrolling their kids in any public school district, even if they live outside its boundaries.  

  For some districts open enrollment brings more revenue, while for others it draws resources out of the area. 

Northland Pines right now is losing about 70 students, but has a net positive gain with around 85 coming in.   District Administrator Mike Richie says they’ve been on the positive end of the equation since 2010, and he keeps a close eye on the numbers. 

In Rhinelander, Central Intermediate School is scheduled to be open Tuesday after Monday's unexpected closing.  School District officials say part of the school’s electrical system failed, affecting the heat in the building. 

Staff became aware of the problem around 6 am and called WPS. 

But the announcement software designed to alert parents of school closings also malfunctioned.  Rhinelander Schools Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says parents were notified late.

A new clinic has opened its doors inside Rhinelander High School.  The new Aspirus clinic won’t serve students - but it will serve school district employees and their families.  The clinic can provide basic primary care. A visit costs just ten dollars. 

Rhinelander Schools Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says clinic access will be good for employee health, as well as save the district money. 

Ken Krall / WXPR News

Eleven Assembly members from both parties came to Rhinelander Wednesday to learn more of the challenges facing rural schools. Ken Krall reports area school leaders had much to say.

The Speakers Task Force on Rural Schools first heard from Rhinelander Superintendent Kelli Jacobi who outlined Rhinelander's history, including cutting $11 million from the budget and closing five buildings, including 4 schools in the past ten years. She says a combination of factors are providing local schools with increasing problems, not the least of which is the drop in state aids...

Don O'Brien

It's time for the first day of school.  

Rhinelander School District Superintendent Kelli Jacobi plans to visit all district schools in the first two weeks of classes.  She’s hoping school bus logistics will run more smoothly than last year. 

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department is opening a new office station at an elementary school.  Deputies will use a room at the Northwoods Community Elementary School as a stopping point to take care of administrative tasks.  No suspects will be brought to the location.  County Sheriff Grady Hartman says the new office on Highway K will help the department have a stronger presence on the west side of the county. 

“We get a high call volume especially around Highway 51.  And we needed a place where the officers could stop or take care of personal business.” 

Rhinelander school district officials have developed a web page so residents concerned about school funding can keep up to date.  Rural school districts are feeling a financial squeeze as many districts have fewer students and are getting less financial aid, but still required to follow mandates.

The legislature's budget-writing group, the Joint Finance Committee, is looking at school funding at this time.